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How To Potty Train a Miniature Schnauzer: 11 Tips & Tricks

Written by: Beth Crane

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Miniature Schnauzer puppy

How To Potty Train a Miniature Schnauzer: 11 Tips & Tricks

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent, bold little dogs, but they may have some “little dog” toileting traits that they share with other small breeds because of their size! Toilet training a puppy of any breed can be difficult to start with, but being properly prepared and taking it one step at a time can make the process easier for both you and your Miniature Schnauzer. In this article, we’ll take you through 11 tips and tricks, and your Miniature Schnauzer will be potty trained in no time!


Before You Start

Before you start potty training your Miniature Schnauzer, it’s important to get all the supplies you’ll need together and set your goals. There’s nothing worse than starting training only to find you’re missing a critical item. Setting achievable goals can help reduce the stress of training for you and your pup. There aren’t many items needed for potty training, but it’s good to have several options that suit different dogs. The following items are essential to consider when potty training your Miniature Schnauzer:

pee pad
Image By: Yuliya Alekseeva, Shutterstock
  • Puppy pads
  • Enzymatic cleaner
  • A crate (and liner)
  • Treats!
  • Other cleaning supplies

Once you have your list together, you can start planning out the potty training. Creating goals such as “no accidents for 12 hours” can help boost your satisfaction and reduce stress, plus it keeps you and your Miniature Schnauzer on track. This can be a mental or written goal list, but it’s nice to have something tangible that shows progress (especially when you have setbacks!)

The 11 Tips for Potty Training a Miniature Schnauzer

1. Begin With a Feeding Schedule

Controlling your dog’s eating is one of the best ways to predict when they might want to go potty, which can help with training and reduces accidents. Breaking up your dog’s meals into separate mealtimes throughout the day rather than free feeding gives you control over when they need to go potty once you learn their “regularity.”

You can plan your training around these breaks, and there’s less chance of random potty breaks occurring around the house or at unpredictable times. Of course, there still might be accidents, but controlling when your Miniature Schnauzer can eat will reduce them!

black miniature schnauzer puppy
Image Credit: katamount, Shutterstock

2. Add in a Bathroom Schedule

Creating set times for your Miniature Schnauzer to go to the bathroom can help them recognize when you want them to go and when they’ll be let out specifically to use the bathroom. However, they won’t always need to go to the bathroom during these set times, and there’ll still be times when your Miniature Schnauzer needs to go potty between bathroom breaks.

Setting a schedule for potty breaks allows you to keep an eye on your Miniature Schnauzer and their bathroom habits, giving your dog an idea of when and where you’d like them to go! Puppies, in particular, need to go more frequently than adult Miniature Schnauzers, and dogs can usually hold their pee and poop for around an hour per each month old they are (up to about 9 months). For example, a 6-month-old puppy could reasonably be expected to hold it for 6 hours, depending on the individual.

3. Learn to Read Your Dog

One of the most valuable things to learn when potty training your Miniature Schnauzer is recognizing when your pup needs to go! Reading your Miniature Schnauzers’ body language and recognizing the signs of them either searching for a place to go or signaling you that they need to go out can make all the difference when potty training.

Some Miniature Schnauzers will need to go outside right after eating, and some will pee when overexcited. Learning your Miniature Schnauzer rhythm can help you adjust the potty schedule you’ve set up, and knowing when they’re signaling can help you prevent accidents inside.

Miniature Schnauzer
Image Credit: Sebastian Coman Travel, Unsplash

4. Praise, Praise, Praise!

As with any training, praise and positive reinforcement are keys to success. Potty training is a learned behavior that you want your Miniature Schnauzer to perform, which can require holding their urine and feces for a while. By giving your Miniature Schnauzer a treat when they go in the right place, you’re making it worthwhile for them to hold their pee and go where you want them to.

Make sure you find your dog’s motivators (food or toys) and go all-out with praise; making a big deal about every trip outside/ in their designated potty spot makes it exciting for your Miniature Schnauzer. Most won’t be able to resist that level of happiness again (especially the affectionate Miniature Schnauzer), so praise can be a very effective training tool.

5. Be Consistent

Consistency is vital when you’re potty training your Miniature Schnauzer. While keeping to a schedule is essential, choosing an appropriate place for your Miniature Schnauzer to the toilet and sticking to it is just as important. If you decide to allow your Miniature Schnauzer to use a puppy pad in the front room to potty one day, then decide you want them outside the next and keep changing your mind; your poor dog won’t know whether they’re coming or going! Consistency in training can speed up the process, and all family members should be aware of the feeding and toileting schedules you set for your pup.

Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock

6. Don’t Punish

Punishing or scolding your Miniature Schnauzer for having an accident will do nothing to further their training and can actually hinder your progress! The best thing to do if your pup has an accident is to make no fuss and clean it up, putting any reactions and emphasis on when your Miniature Schnauzer gets it right, not wrong. Shouting, using old and ineffective training methods like “rubbing their nose in it,” or other negative punishments will make your dog afraid of you and more likely to hide any toilet accidents from you.

7. Introduce a Crate

Crates are handy tools for potty training. Kennels can be used to confine your Miniature Schnauzer to a den, giving them space to relax and call their own. Because dogs are clean creatures, they’ll usually not want to mess up their crate and will try to signal to you that they want out to go potty!

The size of the crate is important when incorporating potty training since a large crate with plenty of room can leave your Miniature Schnauzer room to choose a corner to pee or poop in. A small crate is also a problem, but a crate just big enough for your dog to lie down, turn around, and stand up is ideal. Usually, a dog that needs to go to the potty will scratch or whine to be let out, which is your signal to take them outside.

an empty dog crate
Image Credit: Yakov Oskanov, Shutterstock

8. Watch Out for the Puppy Pad Trap

Puppy pads can be helpful when training a puppy or new dog to use the bathroom, but they can be a pitfall if your dog continues using them. They can benefit small dogs (which we’ll cover below), but if your aim is for your Miniature Schnauzer to potty outside, puppy pads might not be the best move. You can move puppy pads further and further outside in some situations, but it’s tricky for puppies to break the habit!

9. Make Sure You Clean Up Properly

Unfortunately, accidents will happen, and your Miniature Schnauzer is likely to have at least one. Not making a big deal of them is crucial, but knowing how to clean them up effectively can actually prevent your Miniature Schnauzer from peeing or pooping in the same place! An enzymatic cleaner that specifically targets the smells and stains of potty accidents can eliminate even the largest accident. Residual smells can encourage dogs to potty in places repeatedly, so banishing them with an effective odor remover is essential.

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10. Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercise is vital for all dogs, including the energetic Miniature Schnauzer. Playing games and running around can get your Miniature Schnauzer bowels moving and encourage them to poop, which is why many dogs need to “go” for a walk or after playing. Incorporating walks and time outside to burn off some steam into your daily toilet break schedule can help your Miniature Schnauzer get enough exercise and make sure they do their business when they’re outside.

11. Try an Indoor Potty Spot

Some small breeds are more challenging to train to go outside. While this is more commonly seen in very small breeds such as Chihuahuas or Pomeranians, your Miniature Schnauzer could have a problem with getting out in time. Owners of dogs with medical problems such as urinary incontinence often use an indoor potty spot created from puppy pads to be a beneficial solution to the problem, but all small dogs can be potty trained eventually.

Sometimes, it just takes more time! If that is the case for your Miniature Schnauzer, you could use puppy pads to create a potty spot indoors. However, don’t fall into the trap of placing several around your home since it might confuse your Miniature Schnauzer into thinking they can go anywhere!

Dog grass pee pads for potty training a puppy at home or apartment
Image Credit: VidaHawaii, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent little dogs that usually respond to potty training, but there are always exceptions to the rule. By following our tips and tricks, you can help your Miniature Schnauzer master potty training quickly and without a fuss! Being consistent with your training, establishing a potty schedule, and praising your pup when they make it outside will help your Miniature Schnauzer the most.

Featured Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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